Veil woman ‘stopped by bus driver’

A bus driver in Malmö has been suspended after he allegedly tried to stop a woman from boarding because she was wearing a niqab, a form of Islamic headdress that covers the face.

The incident happened on Tuesday morning when ‘Leonora’ boarded the number 35 bus on her usual route between the Rosengård housing estate and the city’s central station. According to ‘Leonora’, the driver stopped her from boarding, saying that her niqab made her hard to identify.

A covers a woman’s face, with a small gap for the eyes.

“I have never before needed to identify myself on a public bus. This wasn’t a weapon I was carrying,” she told The Local.

Leonora stayed on the bus anyway, but claims that the driver mocked her and looked at her angrily.

“I can understand that people don’t like it, but I think they should leave their prejudices at home,” she said.

Bus operator Arriva says that the driver has a different version of events, but he has been suspended while an investigation is carried out. The driver has also been reported to police. There are no rules on Malmö public buses requiring passengers to identify themselves.